Dec. 10th, 2013

dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
I've just finished reading Marjorie M. Liu's four "Hunter Kiss" urban fantasy novels. They are very fun, but I am short on shelf space so I'd like to give them to someone else who'd like to read them. Any takers? Just leave a comment saying you'd like them, and I will pick someone by random selection, and contact the winner by comment and private message. I'll do this after noon next Sunday, December 15, Eastern Standard Time. It doesn't matter where in the world you live, but I would like to dispose of all four at once -- if you've already got one of the novels, let me know which and I'll put that one up on Bookmooch, but I'd like to send at least three together.

What's it about? -- Maxine Kiss is the latest in a matrilineal line of demon slayers, the Hunters. Her job is to fight demons who possess humans in order to create and feed on pain and anger. The demons she meets have slipped free from the Prison Veil, behind which they were trapped after an epic battle thousands of years ago. The only exceptions (cue ominous music) seem to be the five demons allied to the Hunter, who hunt with her at night and during the day are trapped on her body as protective living tattoos. (Yes, this is really awesome.)

Hunters are supposed to wander the earth as strangers, without establishing relationships that could make them vulnerable, but Maxine broke with this tradition when she met Grant, a really sweet (but muscular, of course) former priest who runs a homeless shelter in Seattle. Grant has strange magical powers; with his voice or flute music, he can heal physical and psychic wounds and even persuade demons to lead a more ethical life. Maxine was not brought up to be anything other than tough and merciless, so Grant does pretty much all of the emotional nurturing in their relationship, a reversal I quite enjoy.

There's also a large cast of entertaining secondary characters -- morally ambiguous demons, really nasty demons, Maxine's mysterious-but-charming grandpa, etc.

As the series goes on we learn more about how the demons became imprisoned and what happens if they get out; I'm not super keen on this part because I'm really in it for the violent fluff (Liu is great at describing demons eating things), but there's definitely ongoing plot.

If you're curious, book #4 answers a lot of questions and tentatively wraps up some situations, but Liu is writing another Hunter Kiss novel now. There are also, I think, two novellas and a short story about Maxine. I've read one, "Hunter Kiss," which was published in an anthology (but is also available separately as an ebook) before the novels. It is more of a romance than the novels and explains how Maxine and Grant met, but I don't think it's as good as the novels.

My reviews on Goodreads:
0.5. Hunter Kiss
1. The Iron Hunt
2. Darkness Calls
3. A Wild Light
4. The Mortal Bone

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